Thanks (again) to Bev for supporting me since the trauma of the news that Pandora will be blocked for UK users from 15/1/08. He has pointed me to Last.FM and most recently to Meemix and I am having fun.
Meemix looks like the perfect replacement for Pandora. In fact the user interafce looks better. I've only been using it for a few hours but it has already prompted me to search on HMV and the album I was interested in was on offer!
There are several elements to Last.FM. You are encouraged to download an Open Source program that runs alongside iTunes. As you play stuff in iTunes, the Last.FM application displays information about the artist.
This is really educational - I'd no idea how many American bands are born in Athens, Georgia.
The application also sends the details of the tracks you play to your Last.FM profile online and, eventually, will recommend music that is compatible with your profile. It will also build a 'neighbourhood' of people with musical tastes similar to yours. My nearest neighbour is in Russia! You can then see their profile and the stuff they are listening to. A great way to learn about new music.